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Epic charges Apple of monopoly, iPhone maker says ‘PR stunt’

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San Francisco, April 9 (IANS) As the lawsuit hearing in the case of Fortnite game developer Epic and Apple is set to begin next month, the two companies have reiterated their stands before the trial, as they got themselves involved in a legal battle over the use of an in-game payment system.

While Epic Games argues about Apple’s monopoly over the app market and treats 30 per cent standard fee amount to anti-competitive behaviour that must be regulated by antitrust law, Apple contends that “the whole antitrust allegation and associated dust-kicking is little more than a PR stunt,” reports TechCrunch.

“With the basic facts agreed upon, the two companies will go to battle over what they mean, and their CEOs will likely take the (virtual) stand to do so,” the report said on Thursday.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook as well as Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney may testify in the trial, set to begin from May 3.

For Apple, the proposed witness list also includes Software Engineering Senior Vice President Craig Federighi and Apple Fellow, Phil Schiller.

On team Epic, the Vice President Mark Rein is also included as witness, besides Sweeney.

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The Fortnite game was removed from App Store in August of last year after the company allegedly violated rules by adding an in-game payment system aimed at depriving Apple of its commission on in-app purchases from App Store.

The company said that when Epic gave Fortnite players on iOS a choice between Apple payment and Epic direct payment, Apple retaliated by blocking Fortnite updates.

When Epic sought to bring the Epic Games Store to iOS, Apple declined.

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Apple has denied the charge of monopoly, pointing out it faces enormous competition all over the market, just not within its own App Store.

The company had earlier denied that its 30 per cent commission was anti-competitive, saying it was Epic Games that violated its contract.

The iPhone maker said that Epic benefited from Apple’s promotion and developer tools.

–IANS

na/

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